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Cancer. 1988 Apr 1;61(7):1377-85.

Ependymal and choroid plexus tumors. Cytokeratin and GFAP expression.

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Division of Neuropathology (Department of Pathology), Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.


Twenty-six ependymal and 15 choroid plexus tumors were examined with monoclonal antibody against cytokeratin using the avidin-biotin-peroxidase complex (ABC) technique. Serial sections were examined with antisera to glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP). In five ependymal tumors (one ependymoma, two papillary ependymomas, and two primitive neuroectodermal tumors [PNET] with ependymal cells), a variable number of cytokeratin-positive cells were present. Most tumor cells (except two PNET) were positive with GFAP antisera. Many cytokeratin-positive cells were present in all choroid plexus tumors. GFAP-positive cells were present focally in six of 11 papillomas and in one of four carcinomas. Although their staining patterns and distribution were clearly different, focal coexistence of cytokeratin and GFAP was observed in six papillomas and two ependymal tumors. Thus, some ependymal tumors (especially papillary ependymomas and occasional PNET) and many choroid plexus tumors have demonstrable positivity with antibody to cytokeratin, suggesting a transitional cell type with features of both ependyma and choroid plexus.

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